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A Vanderbilt University student who tested positive for coronavirus and is in a two-week quarantine at his parents’ house in New York reacted on Wednesday to students on spring break in Florida flocking to beaches amid the outbreak.
“I haven’t had any symptoms since last Sunday or Monday,” he said on “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday. “Thank God I am a healthy young individual and this really hasn’t been much worse than a flu for me,” Schulman said.
“My advice to everyone is to act like you already have coronavirus in order to prevent its spread.”
On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called out students on spring break for not practicing social distancing.
“The universities with the spring break … a lot of students have just been congregating at the universities and going out and doing things there, and that’s not something we want,” DeSantis said during a news conference.
Despite official encouragement of social distancing, some are still soaking up the sunshine on beaches in the state. On Clearwater Beach, Monday just appeared to be another day in the spring break calendar.
“I was not taking the threat that seriously when I was in Barcelona,” Schulman said. “Obviously the spread wasn’t as extensive as it is right now.”
He added, “The major thing that you can be doing to prevent the spread of this is social distancing, not going near anyone.”
“I’m sort of an extreme case right now because I am totally quarantined, but you can spread this thing so easily just through a cough or sneeze or anything like that,” he noted.
During Tuesday’s news conference, DeSantis also said all bars and nightclubs in Florida will be closed for the next 30 days. The governor said the decision was made in an effort “to heed the president’s call,” one day after President Trump announced a set of guidelines that he said Americans should follow for 15 days to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
Officials recommended that large swaths of the population isolate themselves and everyone avoid social gatherings or groups of more than 10 people.
They also said Americans should work from home if possible; avoid eating or drinking in bars and restaurants; and “avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.”
Speaking on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, stressed the importance of practicing social distancing and following the other guidelines set forth by the Trump adminstration, especially for millennials.
“It’s important that we all work together, especially younger people, millennials,” Verma said on Wednesday. “They may feel healthy. They may feel like if I get this virus it’s not going to be that big of a deal, it’s just going to be like the flu, but the reality is they can contribute to the spread.”
“They may not even be showing any symptoms, but they could spread it to other people that are more vulnerable, those with underlying health care conditions, especially the elderly in that case, so it’s important that we all do our part,” she continued.
“I think the people of my generation generally who are taking this more seriously are a little bit more plugged into the news right now,” Schulman said. “People always like to say that Twitter is a source of panic and it always causes alarm. I think that people need to be acting like how Twitter is acting right now, which is they are sounding the alarm bells, they are posting all these messages from the CDC.”
“The only thing that people are talking about is coronavirus and the people who aren’t paying attention to that are the ones who are going out to beaches in Florida right now and potentially spreading the virus and overloading our health care systems,” he continued. “So I am very proud that a lot of people in my generation who are very plugged in are taking this super seriously.”
Schulman went on to say that he is “taking this incredibly seriously” and added that “the important thing right now is to keep using social media for its good aspects, which is letting people know that …. You should be limiting your contact with the outside world right now.”
In Florida, 216 COVID-19 cases have been reported and seven people have died, according to Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard.
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.